Social Proof; a large majority of people (including me till recently) don’t know what it is – let alone how to use it as part of their business’s marketing strategy.
To give you the basic rundown – Social Proof is one of the six factors identified in Robert Cialdini’s 1984 classic “Influence: Science and Practice”.
The book examines the key ways so-called ‘Compliance Professionals can influence people’.
The principle of Social Proof – our topic for today’s blog – is essentially the idea that people copy the actions of others in an attempt to emulate their behaviour in certain situations.
Let’s look at some examples:
Social Media Engagement
The most basic form of social proof is simply being active on social media.
This could include, for example, liking and sharing a post on Facebook, Twitter, or any other platforms you happen to have an account on.
Think back to a time when you saw a tweet trending on Twitter – how do you think it came to be on the trending tab? The short answer is that people saw other people on the platform liking and sharing the tweet and wanted to jump on the bandwagon.
They started liking, sharing, and creating their versions of the tweet, which in turn boosted the tweet’s popularity, ending up with it being on the trending tab.
It really is as simple as that! Essentially, it is true what many people say about humans – we are social creatures that crave attention and affection, and it’s as true online as much as it is off.
69% say they’d be more likely to watch a video ad their friend had shared – and that statistic is undoubtedly true in this situation!
Retweeting (or reposting), liking, and mentioning in posts is a fantastic example of social media engagement – it’s absolutely fine to use some personality in your replies and make cheeky quips, too (as long as they aren’t too controversial!).
Consumers want to relate to you – and that’s how you will hook them into learning more about your business.
The power of influencer marketing can already be seen in all corners of the world wide web – sometimes famous people make gigantic waves of product buying without even having to lift a finger.
Take Jungkook, a member of the worldwide global phenomenon boyband BTS; a few years ago, he casually mentioned in conversation that he uses Downy fabric softener.
Little did he know that because of that casual conversation, his fans bought the softener so much that he wouldn’t be able to find any more for himself.
Downy even had to release an official statement sheepishly explaining why almost two months of their supply sold out within a day…oops!
According to a recent statistic, Nearly 40% of Twitter users say they’ve made a purchase as a direct result of a Tweet from an influencer.
So this shows how the reach of an influencer can affect how many people buy your products or services in the long run.
Online Customer Reviews
Let’s be honest here; who purchases anything without reading the reviews first? Not me, that’s for sure!
Say you want a new vacuum and want to see whether it sucks dirt and dust up from the floor as well as it says it does in the product description – well, worry not! 99% of the time, there is a reviews section full of people giving their opinions and ratings on how well a product or service operates – mainly so you can feel assured you’re getting the best out of the product before you decide to buy it.
Another great way of using social proof as part of your business’s marketing strategy is via case studies.
Satisfied customers of yours may decide to take part in one to talk about their experience with your company – all you have to do is reach out to see if they’d be willing and able to participate!
To keep it simple, case studies are usually used to show how you, the business and the customer worked in tandem, so it’s essential that they stay enthusiastic about the whole process!
Once you have your case study, there are various ways in which you can showcase it – this can include hosting it on your blog/website either in a section or on an entire page or offering downloadable PDFs; it’s entirely up to you!
Making Use of Current Clients and Affiliations
Do you happen to have some well-known companies that you work with?
Could you make use of them and their names? Simply sharing that you have ties with these brands is a fantastic way of getting potential customers interested in your business and what it has to offer.
Commercially you may not want or be able to share who your clients are, but you can showcase your affiliations.
Take our very own homepage, for example – right at the bottom is the logo for the East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce; this indicates that we are members of the chamber and are very proud to be.
Our MD’s accreditation with the Chartered Institute of Marketing is also noted there, thus highlighting his commitment to quality marketing practices and continuous personal development.
Use the Numbers
Our final example of using social proof to give your business a boost is by showing off the number of people you’ve completed work for, users you have, or products you’ve sold.
This essentially shows the potential customer that you know what you’re doing since you’ve worked with many people.
It also proves to consumers looking at your business from the outset that you are successful, experienced, and worth their precious time!
So, now you know all about social proof! I hope you’ve come away from this ready and raring to go by implementing some of these examples into your business’ marketing strategy!
Remember, with social proof in marketing, customers are constantly looking for recommendations, reviews, and information on how others have used a product or service before they decide to spend their money – so it’s all about connecting with them and building trust!
At the end of the day, it’s always a good feeling to know that people have been satisfied or happy with your business, its products, and its services.
We often share tips on how to create and implement a video testimonials plan and how to build trust and connect with your audience, so keep an eye on our website and social media channels for more info popping up at any time!